Magic’s Howard to Have Season-Ending Back Surgery, ESPN Says

Dwight Howard will to have season- ending back surgery today to fix a herniated disk, ESPN reported, citing the Orlando Magic center’s agent Dan Fegan.

Howard also will have to sit out the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Fegan told ESPN. Fegan didn’t answer an after-hours e-mail.

“It hurts,” Howard said, according to ESPN. “And then with people saying and thinking I’m quitting on my team. This is a real issue. I tried to play through it and it just made my back worse.”

The herniated disk was discovered last week by Los Angeles- based spine surgeon Robert Watkins, the sports network said.

“The doctor said it’s a one-inch incision,” Howard said. “He said I can start rehab right away and be back to full contact in four months, so I’m not really concerned. If anything, I’ll come back stronger.”

Howard has missed eight games this season because of his back, one more game than he missed in his first seven seasons. His 621 games and 22,471 minutes is the most by a center in his first eight seasons in the modern National Basketball Association era.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nancy Kercheval in Washington at nkercheval@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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